This, that, and the other thing

I had a quiet week, reading and preparing for the semester to start (all hell breaks loose next week). I started Marguerite Yourcenar’s Memoirs of Hadrian.

I’ve been meaning to read it for years but never got around to it until a friend gave me a copy. Timing is all. Yourcenar’s Hadrian writes a dense, lyrical prose, whereby even the human body becomes “that amazing instrument of muscles, blood, and skin, that red-tinged cloud whose lightning is the soul.” I’m hooked.

When too tired to read, which is to say most evenings, I’ve been watching an Australian detective show from 2007 called “City Homicide”. It’s decidedly average, but the effort to decode the Aussie accents holds my attention. Otherwise, it requires no brain power at all.

It’s amazing how much the world has changed since 2007 — 12 short years! While watching American TV shows from that era, I often find myself thinking “wow, you couldn’t say that now”. How surprising to discover the same phenomenon on Australian (and British) TV. I must say, however, that I prefer older shows. They may not be politically correct but they are not nearly as cynical, brutal, and gory as today’s.

One last observation. Yesterday I helped pack school supply bags for needy area children. We worked from the supply lists that each teacher submitted to us.

I was amazed at the amount of stuff required for elementary school-aged children. Aside from the usual crayons, pencils, erasers, and pocket folders, lists called for headphones (!), pens of a certain color, fancy mechanical crayon/pencils, markers, highlighters, glue sticks, specific types of pencil cases, wet wipes, scissors (blunt or pointed), post-it notes, index cards, Kleenex, white-board markers, different sized three-ring binders, spiral bound notebooks, composition notebooks, reams of loose-leaf paper, and various other sundries. No wonder so many families need help purchasing this stuff! Is it really necessary? I couldn’t help remembering that much of the stuff we bought our own children either never got used or got lost. What a waste.

Well, if this post does anything, it certainly reveals what a cranky old lady I am! Have a great weekend!